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5 Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease You Need to Know

A patient with Alzheimer’s being comforted by a caregiver.

If someone you know was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you may be caught off-guard. Maybe you’ve never heard of Alzheimer’s or are unsure of the care plan that is most appropriate for them. At Heritage Senior Living, our experts in senior care are here to assist you along this journey. To begin, here are 5 facts about Alzheimer’s disease you should know.

5 Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. People may confuse Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dementia isn’t a specific condition in itself, but instead, is a series of symptoms that can be caused by a number of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is responsible for 50-70 percent of all cases of dementia, and the CDC has found that an estimated 5 million Americans aged 65 years or older have Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Scientists do not fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, we do not have a full understanding of the cause of Alzheimer’s disease at this time. There is probably not one single cause, and several factors could affect whether or not someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the best-known risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and other factors that may increase this risk include family genetics, heart health and head injuries. On the other hand, there is growing evidence that physical, mental and social activities may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease is defined in three general stages. The stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be divided into three separate categories: early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, middle-stage Alzheimer’s disease and late-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Early-stage Alzheimer’s (mild) – At this stage, a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can still live their life independently. Common symptoms in this stage include forgetting names, losing or misplacing objects, and having trouble planning or organizing.
    • Middle-stage Alzheimer’s (moderate) – This stage is typically the longest stage and can last many years. As the disease progresses, a person may require a more substantial level of care to manage symptoms. Someone at this stage may forget where they are, have trouble controlling their bladder or bowels, and experience personality and behavioral changes.
    • Late-stage Alzheimer’s (severe) – In the final stages of this disease, symptoms become increasingly severe. Symptoms can include having difficulty communicating, requiring around-the-clock care and decreased physical abilities.
  4. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. While some people may think that cognitive decline and memory loss are a normal part of the aging process, this isn’t true. Yes, age is the best-known risk for Alzheimer’s disease – but just because a person ages does not guarantee an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
  5. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments can slow the progression. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time. While research is getting closer, there are pharmaceutical treatments available that can either help to preserve cognitive decline or assist in alleviating behavioral changes that people may experience. Discuss options with a healthcare provider to find the right treatment for your loved one’s unique situation.

Learn More About Alzheimer’s Care at Heritage Senior Living

At Heritage Senior Living, we offer a variety of levels of senior care, including Memory Care.

Heritage Senior Living’s Memory Care communities provide specialized attention and care for those experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Each prospective resident receives a thorough assessment upon admission, ensuring their unique needs are met. Specially trained staff members are on-hand 24/7 to provide compassionate, individualized care. And, along with expert care, our homelike atmosphere offers the best in senior living. Engaging amenities range from activity rooms, educational events, cozy common areas and more.

Contact us today to find out more about our memory care services. We’d love to get to know your loved one and answer any questions you have.

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